Northern Illinois University, 1969-1973 – lunch time at the student union, lunch with All My Children. Since my college days I have downplayed the fact that I have been an All My Children fan. From the time I had control of my academic schedule I made sure that the noon hour was not scheduled so that I could eat lunch in Pine Valley. From the early days and the romance of Philip Brent and Tara, to Tad the Cad, Jenny and Greg, Jessie and Angie and Kendall and Zach, I religiously followed the lives and dirty deeds of the residents of Pine Valley.
Now I know that, at heart, this is trash TV but over the years there were story lines that gripped me and some acting that was actually superb. Who could ever forget James Mitchell (RIP) as Palmer Courtland and my all time favorite David Canary as Adam Chandler. And although she will probably never win an Academy Award, Susan Lucci as Erica Kane defined that show almost from the beginning. I don’t think there is a person alive that on one day or another didn’t wish they could step into those shoes and say or do the things that Erica did. All you need to say is the name Erica, and everyone knows who you mean. That is creating quite a brand and quite an achievement!
The comings and goings of the residents of Pine Valley have been a part of the fabric of my life. I watched the series when it was in black and white and only a half hour long, rejoiced when it became an hour long series and filmed in color and loved the transition to high definition. Beautiful people are beautiful people high definition or not. And today ABC announced that the show will be canceled with episodes airing through September of this year.
Another ending. I can’t say that I did not see it coming. My husband actually called it a few weeks back. The era of the stay-at-home mom who gets respite from her tedious life by living vicariously through soap opera characters is gone and has been gone for a long time. Viewing habits have changed – today All My Children is gone tomorrow the daily newspaper. And in the end is all about one thing – making money. I am surprised it held on for as long as it did.
So, thank you All My Children. It has been a glorious ride. I will never forget Pine Valley and its many residents over the years. Thank you for the laughter, the tears, the escape. And life goes on…